Month: June 2009

Police killing Police, how do we stop it?

Recently NYC Police Officer Omar J. Edwards was gunned down by fellow police officers. Edwards was chasing a suspect that had broken into his car after his shift had ended.

We had a similar issues here in Providence a few years back. Patrolman Cornel Young Jr. was off duty and in a local restaurant when a domestic dispute broke out. He pulled his gun out and was pursuing a suspect when uniformed officers rolled onto the scene. They shot and killed Young who was posthumously awarded the rank of Sergeant.

One question that came up during the Young incident was that Young hadn’t identified himself as a police officer to the uniformed officers. That lead some to say those uniforms had to know Young, etc. But the Providence Police Department has close to 600 sworn officers. Anything over say 150 people and human mind can’t really comprehend storing the identities of all the members of the group. I know this first hand, at one job we had 250 people in the building. I knew maybe 125 of them after a year and a half.

So now NYPD is trying to find ways of letting police know of other police in the vicinity. A GPS tracker and a small RF transciever would do wonders here. Small enough to be worn on a belt at all times. The units would send location data and police badge ID. Receiving units would beep and display the badge ID’s it scanned.

That way you’d stop friendly fire incidents.

Disgust and Morals

Interesting article popped up on Yahoo News this morning about how disgust motivates the conservative viewpoint.

Here are the first few lines:

People who squirm at the sight of bugs or are grossed out by blood and guts are more likely to be politically conservative, new studies find.

In particular, the squeamish are more apt to have conservative attitudes about gays and lesbians.

Lots of other research has tied politics to biology and behavior. Some quick background:

* A study last year found that when people feel physically clean, they are less judgmental.
* Another study found that political conservatives tend to be tidy, with organized offices, but liberals favor colorful, more stylish but cluttered spaces.
* Political views are driven by religion, culture and even biology, other research has shown.
* A large, global study in 2007 concluded that political preference is 50 percent genetic.

Grossed out by blood and guts? But yet not one pro-war conservative will ever think about the bloodshed involved with war. Granted, the U.S. kill ratio is phenomenal but the conservatives in power have destroyed over 4,000 U.S. lives, and perhaps 100,000 Iraqi lives. It does explain why they wouldn’t publish pictures of any of the scenes in Iraq or Afghanistan, or refused to cover the return of flag draped coffins. That would have eroded the remaining support for the neo-con agenda.

As to the neat and tidy thing, I call foul on that one. I know a solid Republican voter whose office is, quite frankly, a mess.

Obama Proclaims June as “Gay Pride Month”

How very interesting. President Obama has issued the following proclamation:

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 1, 2009

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

I’m happy to see him address some of our causes. But civil unions are not enough. As has been amply demonstrated in the past separate is not equal.